If green is the new black then cardboard must be the new wood. There simply is no end to the number of cardboard products on the market – children’s toys, art, wine racks, elegant furniture and even solar ovens. The great thing about cardboard is that it is usually made from recycled materials and has the added benefit of being 100% recyclable.
We caught up with Jimmy Chiang, founder and CEO of Way Basics, a cardboard furniture and storage company, to ask a few questions about an increasingly cardboard world.
Please tell us a bit of about your furniture line.
At Way Basics we take one of the most ancient and basic of resources (paper) and create sustainably viable options for eco modern storage and furniture. Our products are very versatile and can be used for basic storage, bookcases and shelving, anywhere in your life. They’re great for home, office, dorm, garage, closet - you name it.
What makes your products green?
Our products are made out of 99% post-consumer recycled paper. We are using sources such as used office pack, cardboard boxes, newspaper or really any paper related item that can be recycled. We could even be using our own products at the end of their life span to produce new Way Basics products since they are 100% recyclable.
Is cardboard becoming more commonplace as a design material?
I think people are becoming more aware of the need to incorporate more recycled products into their lives. Not only is it the responsible choice to make as a consumer, but also people are realizing our resources are finite, so we really need to make an effort as a community to do all we can to preserve our culture and way of life.
What are the benefits of cardboard furniture?
The number one benefit that tops the list for cardboard furniture is the fact that it is recycled. Our product line drew its influences from cardboard, plywood, and particleboard to create a truly unique product. The essence of Way Basics, the zBoard, is 62% lighter than particleboard, but just as strong. Many people have heard of the toxic materials that go into particleboard products. Our zBoards do not contain these toxic materials that ultimately seep out of alternate products. So what we’ve done is take the light and recycled characteristics of cardboard and coupled that with the strength of particleboard to make a unique product.
Is it easy to assemble?
Peel, stick, done. It’s literally as easy as that. We use industrial strength double-sided adhesive tape to construct our products, so everything is 100% recyclable. It’s extremely strong and takes literally minutes to assemble.
Is there more demand for cradle to cradle products?
I definitely think so. Way Basics is a cradle to grave and grave to cradle company, because we use materials that are post-consumer and turn it into new and exciting products. We encourage all of our customers to recycle their Way Basics after it reaches the end of its long lifetime, and there is the distinct possibility that it will end up back here at our doorstep to be used again and molded into a brand new zBoard. That’s the beauty and power of recycling. People are beginning to see that beauty and realize the importance of their purchasing power.
Does cardboard furniture encourage a throwaway mentality?
I don’t think so. Especially with the economic climate that we are currently in, people are very concerned with the quality of their furniture, or really any product for that matter. I think that our furniture gives consumers peace of mind that they are able to recycle the furniture at the end of its lifespan and not have to worry about it ending up in a landfill somewhere.
How long will the furniture last?
Just like many of the products on the market today, they last as long as the consumer allows them to. If you properly care for them, they will last a very long time.
Is the furniture strong?
We get this question a lot so instead of telling everyone how strong it is, we showed them. On our website we created a video of one of our team members standing on our furniture and putting it to the test. He weighs about 200 lbs, so I’d say it’s pretty resilient.
Anything you would like to add?
We would like to offer your readers 10% off their entire order to try out Way Basics. Use code WBGM10 at checkout. Thank you for taking the time to learn about us.